In a 2001 study, Researcher Judith Richman linked workplace harassment to drinking behaviors. In a multi-wave panel study at an urban university, targets who had more than two years of bullying had a stronger connection to drinking problems.
“These drinking behaviors reflect an attempt by targets to deal with the psychological stress,” say Loraleigh Keashly and Joel H. Neuman in their Employee Rights and Employee Policy Journal article. “Should such drinking continue, job performance and productivity is likely to suffer. For example, some research suggests that sixty billion dollars is lost in annual productivity as a result of alcohol abuse.”
The link isn’t shocking. What’s shocking is the failure of management to address root cause: workplace bullying. It’s far easier to blame a target for a drinking problem than a higher level employee for causing the unnecessary stress in the first place. That negligence to address the actual problem is linked to financial loss.
So why aren’t employers doing anything about workplace bullying?